Social Networking in the Workplace

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One of the things I have noticed is that the corporate world has not kept up with the changes in technology and human interactions. We all know that most larger offices in particular block social networking sites such as Twitter and FB as well as others. Yet many of them have pages themselves on these sites. Really this type of attitude is much like the days when employers wouldn’t allow personal phone calls. Really, all it says is that they don’t trust their employees. The funny thing about this is that if I was to walk around to the IT department of my own employer you see members of the IT team on these sites and MSN etc. I know a few IT Administrators and they admit that a lot of the time these bans have nothing to do with productivity and corporate direction and more about the IT Department’s advise to Management. To add salt to this wound, the reason they usually give is that they believe that either it’s to save bandwidth or that if they allowed access it would increase their workload because they would have to spend more time on security.

We really are in a world now where networking and social media is the way to grow your business or build a positive profile. People need to be trusted in the first instance and in the end if they do their job then let them have that social aspect. It’s important for workplaces to realise that in order to increase productivity and happiness in the workplace you must show trust in your staff. One thing that is important is to allow employees to operate in a similar way to what they do at home. If an employee is comfortable it will increase productivity and happiness in the workplace. Suncorp Bank has announced that they will allow their staff to use their own computers at the office if they want to. I know if I was able to use my Mac at the office I would be much more comfortable because it’s what I am used to. Rather, I use a Mac at home and then come to work and have to use a Windows machine. Let’s face it, staff are accessing their social networking sites via their phones or tablets anyway, so maybe it’s time for companies to endorse this form of communication and give people the benefit of the doubt. Then you can monitor the usage statistics and productivity and make appropriate decisions. We live in a world now where open discussion leads to innovation, so open up this dialogue in the workplace. Develop an MSN style system within your organisation, build message boards, allow social media site access and entrust your staff and you will soon see both productivity and innovation as well as your brand boom.

I don't doubt that there will be people who will get slack but there will also be many who will flourish because they feel more connected to both those in the workplace and their real lives. This is only one of many issues I see in todays workplaces. I don't base my views just on my feelings but on much research and looking at that hard to find common sense approach. Look at everything in a workplace. That includes how people communicate to the whole open plan mess. You will find a new, creative, productive and booming business.

Painful Issues


I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately floating around about Mardi Gras and a lot of different opinions. That is a topic I will talk about soon because I want to comment on another bloggers opinion. But anyway, reading these posts it has reminded me of a really big issue facing the gay population. I know you will say it’s no surprise but I think it’s time I talked about it. That issue being self-esteem.

It is so obvious when you read a lot of posts or for that matter just open FB that self-esteem is a major issue in the gay world. That’s not to say that it’s not a big issue everywhere else but I notice it more in the gay world. The one thing I notice is that this issue appears to probably be one of the biggest facing people. Issues with self-esteem have a habit of impacting on life in a massive way.

When someone lacks self-esteem it leads to a lot of problems. It leads to a desperate need for attention which can bring with it another group of problems. It leads to this need to surround yourself with people and not usually quality people. It can lead to doing things that just help you maintain that pretend friendship like drinking, drugs and lying, but these are only the obvious ones. The emotional damage can be far more reaching. This then can have a huge impact on your family and other relationships. It can lead to feeling bored at times just because usually people with self-esteem issues can’t cope with their own company.

A lot of those feelings can come from your childhood which really means you are letting your crappy childhood rule your adult life. It can also come from the portrayal of gays in the world. Strangely the way that gays are portrayed in the media makes you think something is wrong with you if you don’t fit into the box. There is also this perception out there that life is meant to always be about fun.

Get real. Firstly, life isn’t about fun. Life is about making a difference and true internal happiness. This isn’t achieved through parties and drinking, and it certainly isn’t achieved through surrounding yourself with a poor quality of people just in order to be able to say you have friends. The reality of friendship is that true friends are rare but to be a true friend you really need to share some values and they really need to add quality to your life. Recent studies show that most people have only one or two real friends and that they can come at different points in your life. If you think about it, your most truly happy moments are just that moments, not events and parties. They are tiny little moments where something very genuine has been said to you or when you were curled up on the couch with your loved one.

You need to stop constantly being worried about what others think of you because in the end it doesn’t matter. If you have self-esteem issues you really need to remember that you are beautiful and if you are patient things will improve. Train yourself to enjoy time by yourself. That doesn’t mean spending that time on the computer. I mean real time by yourself. Even if that just means writing in a journal, spending a day watching films curled up on the couch with popcorn or being artistic. If you are feeling disconnected, anxious, depressed or even bored all the time, take that step and seek help. If nothing else talking to a professional lets you expel all hour frustrations, at best, they may give you some tools that will help you improve the quality of your life. Don't be afraid of asking for help.

The key is to be patient. I know the world wants to make you connect 24/7 but the reality is this isn’t going to improve the quality of your life. We now live in a world where we are connected 24/7. We have constant connections to pretty much everyone. However it’s a fact that reported cases of depression, anxiety and suicide are at all time highs. So if you look at it, this 24/7 connectivity isn’t really improving the quality of our lives. I myself have reduced the amount of time I spend on the net. In fact I have reduced the amount of time I spend online by around 75%. I even write most of my posts offline and then copy and paste them. Simply I would rather give my attention to my partner or just relax.

Anyway, the key to remember is that you are special and you don’t need others to validate you. Live a good life full of honesty, helping others and building a quality life with those you love. I won’t go on because I could talk about this topic for hours. I am happy to discuss this further in future posts or if you want to send me a contact message I would be happy to reply. For now I will go. But remember you are beautiful.

Lifespan of Social Networking


We all know that social networking sites are being used by more and more people. Yes, sites such as FB are currently dominating the Internet. According to some sources 50% of the US population log onto FB at least once a month, with only around 7% utilising Twitter. 

However, what is the lifespan of sites such as FB? Does it have such a large market share now that it will be around forever? Some experts suggest that it really only has between 3-5 years left before running out of steam. Others suggest it could start declining in as little as 1-2 years.

If you were to look at the interface of FB, it is really poor and with the issues around privacy it certainly has a long way to go before it gains any level of trust. It is said that the reason it has so many members is simply because it has become a place people feel they need to be in order to connect. So in respect to that momentum, they have done a good job. However if you talk to people, I am yet to hear a single person who says they trust the site.

MySpace which used to dominate the market is on the market and the rumour mill says that one of the interested parties may be Zynga. Now Zynga has been credited with a lot of the growth in FB and to some degree it is a fact. Would Zynga moving out over time from FB see a decrease in users? Maybe, maybe not.

Even though FB has such a huge audience, it probably would’nt take much for it to be obliterated. Even though it would take time, it seems that it would only take a new and innovative developer to come up with something that grabs people attention to start a battle for the top spot. It could also be as simple as natural death. What I mean is with the growing use of FB for Pages and Groups if it becomes dominated in some area it could become too busy for people. If you listen to a lot of the experts, there is a sense out there that the novelty is starting to wear off. Status updates more often then not are either becoming like pity parties or people are posting too much.

I am hearing more and more reports of employers now including in their employment contracts that employees must not have a FB profile. This seems to be a growing trend. I won’t speculate on the reason for this becoming more prominent because I haven’t heard the arguments, but it is happening.

Really this type of site is volatile and I believe if people had an alternative for connecting with others they probably would take up the option. Yes they would probably run with both for a while but eventually would migrate to just one. The future will be interesting.

Digital You


Who are we? Well if I asked you about yourself you would tell me about the non-virtual you. The thing that I have realised is that I as a person have gone through many years of growing up. I was born and then over many years due to how I was raised, my experiences and my own self discovery have ended up with the person I am now.

Who we are online and how we interact online is a completely different matter. I’m not saying we are not ourselves although we know that many people have a completely different personality online. What I am saying is that we need to consider our digital self as a separate person. I know you may say that it’s still you but really it’s not.

Think of your digital self as a separate identity. Your digital self will still have the same values that your non digital self has but online is completely new and different, from the types of people you associate with to how you interact to your reputation. Think of your digital self as your child and you are raising it and constantly deciding who you are. We struggle with integrating this technology into our current persona because it is different.

In our lives our identity, who we are is a constant developing and changing thing. In the digital world it should be to. If we don’t consider our digital self as an entity of it’s own we will spend all our time trying to melt the digital and non digital side of us into one.

I realise what I am saying may seem difficult to understand and that is ok. As ‘online’ is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives it can become more and more difficult to work out where it all fits. This is why if we realise that our digital self is growing, and growing up constantly that we need to be flexible and be very clear that this is different to our real life identity. More and more people use the Internet to establish who you are, whether it’s a prospective partner, friend, prospective employer, stalker or a lot of other people. So it would make sense that you have to develop your online persona now before it becomes uncontrollable. protect those elements of yourself that need protecting and allow those things you want to appear in searches through.

We have all heard that once something is in the cloud it is there forever. At the same time we will all make mistakes and grow from them. The key is to think of your digital self as a person and start the process of raising your digital self.